Playing time: 11 hours
I’m not exactly sure what inspired me to pick up Love the One You’re With, by Emily Giffin. Don’t get me wrong, I used to have quite a penchant for “chick lit” back when I was in high school and during my first years at college. However, I eventually grew tired of the formulaic plots and sickenly sweet love stories. I haven’t picked up any chick lit in years, but I decided to go for Love the One You’re With when I was choosing audiobooks to try out. I’m new to the whole concept of listening to books, and I was thinking that, with my attention span, perhaps I should pick books that are easy to follow along with, at least in the beginning. I think maybe I sold myself short! Anyway, I loved Something Borrowed as well as Something Blue, so I figured if I was going to read chick lit, Giffin would be a good choice.
The whole idea of the book is “the grass is always greener” syndrome. Ellen Graham is a newlywed married to Andy, the brother of her best friend and college roommate Margot. Andy seems to be somewhat vanilla. He and Margot grew up with silver spoons in their mouths and are part of the country clubbing, debutanate attending crowd from Atlanta, Georgia. Meanwhile, Ellen was raised in Pittsburgh in a middle-class, hardworking family. She has a hard time fitting in with the Graham’s crowd and adapting to her new lifestyle.
Ellen and Andy are living in New York City when Ellen runs into her ex, Leo, on the street one random afternoon. Up until that point, Ellen thought she had a wonderful marriage, but suddenly she feels stuck in a passionless relationship with her husband. She and Leo ended things abruptly and Ellen starts to wonder what if? Maybe Leo is her true love and she made a grave mistake in marrying Andy. Ellen and Leo begin to meet up sporadically under the guise of working together (Ellen is a photographer and Leo a journalist) and Ellen must decide whether to stay in a boring marriage or risk losing everything to be with Leo.
To make everything even more tense, Ellen can’t even confide in her best friend, since Margot also happens to be Andy’s sister. Speaking of which, Margot was probably my favorite character in the entire book. She was affable and endearing, and I don’t think Ellen gave her enough credit. As for the other characters, I found them to be boring and lackluster, even the character of Leo, who seemed to be the stereotypical “bad boy”. Ellen especially grated on my nerves. This wasn’t helped by the narrator, whose voice was so sugary smooth I could hardly stand it.
As for the ending, I wasn’t sure how I wanted it to turn out. Did I want Ellen to be with Leo? Or should she realize what a mistake she was making and patch things up with Andy? I won’t spoil it, for those of you who plan on reading this book in the future, but I will say that I wasn’t the least bit surprised by the ending and by the time I got there, I was ready for the book to be over.
So I guess it would be safe to say that I’m still not a fan of chick lit. But, for those of you who are, I would recommend Giffin’s books Something Borrowed and Something Blue over this one.
For other reviews, read the following:
Dear Author (this review includes a hidden spoiler at the end for those of you who want to know who Ellen ended up with)